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Groups invited to join Spring Carnival celebrations

22 January 2019

Local groups across the community are being invited to join the huge celebrations planned for the St Patrick’s Spring Carnival festivities in Derry, taking place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March.

The Spring Carnival Parade is one of the main highlights of the annual events calendar and draws thousands of visitors to the city each year to enjoy a vibrant and exciting afternoon of music, song and dance on Saint Patrick’s Day. Organised by the North West Carnival Initiative, this colourful spectacle brings together community, school, charity and sporting groups for a massive on street celebration.

A final call out is now being issued to any local organisations who want to join in the carnival fun this year. Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, said it offered a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved in a major civic and cultural event.

“The parade is a wonderful opportunity for everyone across the city to get involved in a multitude of activities and play a part in one of the most celebrated and important festivals of the year,” he said.

“People of all ages can sign up and help make the experience a memorable one for everyone involved, creating a wonderful atmosphere that really brings the city to life. The parade also offers a fantastic opportunity for people to join in a major civic and cultural event.”

This year’s carnival parade will be a colourful celebration of children and young people, in keeping with the Council’s Youth 19 programme. The themes explored will include depictions of youth in myth and legend both in the Celtic tradition and in the many diverse cultures across the world.

The pageant will look back at the story of Tír na nÓg (the Land of Youth) best known from the tale of Oisin and Niamh. In the tale, Oisín (a human hero) and Niamh (a woman of the Otherworld) fall in love, and she brings him to Tír na nÓg on a magical horse that can travel over water.

Director of the North West Carnival Initiative, Jim Collins, said he hopes to see a huge turnout from groups across the city. “Today’s youth and culture will have pride of place this year, so expect to be delighted by an energetic display featuring everything from ballet to hip hop. Fantastical creatures will snake their way through the city’s streets along with a whole host of characters representing young people from fables and fairy tales from faraway lands. 

“This year will see pageant pieces from the North West Carnival Initiative, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, In Your Space, Bluebell Arts and will involve over 600 participants from local schools, youth clubs and arts and cultural organisations.”

If you are interested in taking part in the parade or becoming a volunteer, please contact Jim Collins at [email protected] or phone 02871 414243.